Purchasers should always remember that the land agent (also know as the real estate agent) works for the vendor (the seller) and is paid by way of a commission on the sale. Not only is it the agent's duty to obtain the best possible price for the vendor, but the agent's income depends, to a large degree, on doing so. However, the agent is also expected to deal fairly with the buyer.
For further information about the obligations owed by real estate agents in relation to the conduct of the sale of a property, including information about the sales agency agreement, marketing and auctions see Selling a home.
Real estate agents, sales representatives, property managers and auctioneers must all be registered under the Land Agents Act 1994 (SA) [see ss 6 - 8C]. Conveyancers are required to be registered pursuant to Part 2 of the Conveyancers Act 1994 (SA). While the registration requirements for property managers commenced on 1 February 2019, a transitional period applies until 28 September 2019 to enable employers and employees to meet their requirements.
Consumer and Business Services is responsible for registering conveyancers, real estate agents, property managers, sales representatives and auctioneers. Any person can search the Consumer and Business Services Online Licencing Register which contains the details of licensed agents, sales representatives and conveyancers. Consumer and Business Services is also empowered to commence prosecution proceedings (within 5 years of the alleged offence) against a land agent, property manager, sales representative (or their employees) for breaches of the Land Agents Act 1994 (SA), such as those relating to inappropriate use of trust account monies. Additionally, Consumer and Business Services can refuse to approve an application to be registered as a conveyancer, agent, property manager, sales representative or auctioneer, or can cancel, suspend or impose conditions on such registration. The decision to refuse registration, or cancel, vary, revoke or impose conditions on a registration can be reviewed by the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) [see Land Agents Act 1994 (SA) ss 8D, 11BA, 11C; Conveyancers Act 1994 (SA) ss 7A, 9AA].
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.